Twitter Influence vs Real Influence?

I’ve been hearing a lot recently about how your influence (or sometimes called Klout) on Twitter can be used in real life for benefits. Recently some companies have been giving Twitter users with a high Klout score discounts and special promos. The way Klout works is that a higher score means the more Twitter ‘influence’ you have. It goes to say that these companies are seeing that the higher your Twitter influence, the more chance they’ll be able to score positive comments from you.

Great idea. I’m happy that companies are seeing the power of social media.

But what does this say about a person’s real influence? Is Klout or other social grading utilities a reflection of real life influence? Do your friends in real life trust your opinions and knowledge? I know personally I have some friends not on Twitter who’s opinions I would trust more than most people on Twitter. So should these real life people have a social influence rating?

Klout gauges its scores on how much you are mentioned, retweeted, liked, and commented on. So if you are scored on how many times you are mentioned outside of the social networks, how would you rank? When you include your influence on real friends as compared to Twitter followers?

I’m not coming down on trying to score or rank influence on Twitter. Metrics are what make businesses understand its customers. I’m just wondering how either stacks up to each other.

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